WWH v. Hellerstedt: Amicus Brief
The National Network of Abortion Funds is proud to join the diverse chorus of people choosing abortion, abortion providers, religious leaders, lawyers, and politicians from both sides of aisle who submitted 45 amicus briefs to the Supreme Court for the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt* on Monday. We stand firmly beside Whole Woman’s Health and the freedom fighters of Texas as they ask the Supreme Court to overturn HB 2, a law that would make abortion more inaccessible for those already struggling to gather resources to afford an abortion. We believe it is crucial that the Supreme Court listens to people who’ve had abortions and not political ideology when issuing their decision.
Every day, we and our member funds see the impact of harmful legislation like HB 2, which is designed to close abortion clinics and put abortion further out of reach of the most marginalized communities. In our brief, we interviewed six women in Texas and Ohio who described the arduous challenges in accessing an abortion after HB 2 and laws like it. Their stories are representative of the 116,000 people who call the abortion funds across the country every year.
- Tiffany is a 30 year-old woman from Flint, Texas who had an abortion in mid-October 2015. After Tiffany became aware of her pregnancy at 11 weeks gestation, she obtained an estimate of the cost of an abortion and learned that she would need time to save money to afford the procedure because she was uninsured. After she saved $300, she sought to schedule an appointment in Dallas, encountering another delay in obtaining an appointment due to congestion at the clinic. By the time Tiffany had raised $300 and obtained an appointment in Dallas, she had reached 18 weeks gestation and the cost of the abortion had risen to $1,700, well beyond the sum she could afford or raise. In addition to the cost of the procedure, Tiffany also struggled to afford the cost of transportation to Dallas, three hours roundtrip, plus an overnight hotel stay.
- Courtney, a 31-year old uninsured woman living in La Marque, Texas, who was interviewed for this Brief, noted the impact of the lack of abortion and economic instability on mothers who already had children in her community. She struggles financially with the three children she is already raising. Courtney said that “[s]ometimes you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from or how you’re going to pay this bill or [how you’re going to save money] to make sure they eat.” She stated that she would rather have an abortion “than bring another kid into the world and make them suffer.”
- Gwen says the original abortion would have cost $700, but after the delays the cost increased to $1,300 plus the cost of gas for her car and an overnight stay in a San Antonio hotel. She was unable to save the money in time and take enough time off of work to have her abortion and, as of the time of her interview by NNAF, has been unable to obtain a safe abortion.
Laws like HB2 have deep economic impacts on low-income people across the country and create additional barriers to their ability to access safe abortion care. We call on the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn HB 2 and reverse the current state of abortion access in this country.
Read our full brief by downloading at the link below, and read the stories in all 45 briefs here. Donate to ensure we can continue the fight and ensure callers like Tiffany, Courtney, and Gwen are able to access affordable, safe abortion care.
*statement has been updated to reflect change in case name